I had an unexpected eventful DIY predicament over the Xmas period. Xmas holidays are the one time throughout the year that the computers are sleeping, tools are packed away, all I have to concern myself with is walking Alfie (my Rhodesian Ridgeback) twice a day for a couple of hours, and being creative in the kitchen, (my terminology for the cooking cock-ups I commit in the kitchen that need rescuing by my wife!) I haven’t mentioned an insatiable appetite for sport (mostly watching it nowadays, slippers on and feet up, slowly but consistently eating my way through a mountain of clementine’s, Satsuma’s, quality streets, mince pies, regaining all the weight I struggled so hard to lose in the last six months, in a mere 2-3 weeks.
So the phone rang, and my best mates Dave and Sonia had a problem, their kitchen sink had blocked, and they couldn’t clear it. Now David’s got a bad shoulder injury, sustained whilst walking my dog Alfie for me whilst I was away working, so if I needed a reason to get out of the armchair that was it! I called around with my plunger, and Dave already had a super-duper one. I disconnected the dishwasher, and capped off the outlet from it on the sink waste trap, blocked the sink overflow, and began to plunge with a passion. We weren’t having a lot of luck, and this had been a recurring problem for a few years now, and looking at the plumbing under the sink and the below par quality of the kitchen fitting, I thought we have a serious problem here. I found the soil pipe, and had to cut a large access hole in the plasterboard to see what had occurred. It transpired that in order to attach the new kitchen waste to an existing soil stack connection, he had the waste pipe running uphill as I worked that out by measurement. Also this waste ran around three sides of the kitchen approx. 20 odd feet in length in 1½in pipe the second half of which should have been in 2inch pipe, known as a 2in float, to prevent any blockages on a long pipe run.
I had a real dilemma as the kitchen had fixed granite tops and splash backs, so I pulled out the oven, to reveal and cut the wastepipe, it was about 95% blocked with really hard material. I used a mechanical worm to clear the pipe back from the oven to the sink, (about 10ft) and decided to renew the rest of the 1½ inch pipe from the oven to the soil stack, in 2inch waste pipe with a fall. The big problem was the wastepipe was behind the units, so I had to remove the backs of the units to enable me to replace the pipe work and reconnect it to the soil stack lower down, creating the necessary fall. I also renewed the sink trap and pipe work below the sink, and made sure everything was working perfectly. I had to cut, glue, and pin 30mm x 25mm wooden battens to the side of the cabinets at the rear, then glue and pin replacement white hard-board back panels, that I cut to size from purchased sheets. I refitted the oven, magic corner, drawer stacks, and shelves, and renewed the kicker boards, (unit skirting’s). I overhauled all the cupboards, tightened up all the hinges realigned all the cupboard doors and drawers, to make the kitchen complete again and working perfectly. I replaced the plaster cut outs I had made, filled and painted the walls, and you would never had known anything had gone wrong.
Dave and Sonia were over the moon as was I because having to take the kitchen out would have been a nightmare, and cost a small fortune. I am back in my armchair now with a nice cold beer, and the phone off the hook!
Happy New Year